Not Just A Pop Up

It’s nearing the end of June, which means we’re seeing an influx of minor leaguers get their crack at the majors a little more frequently. The latest arm to get...

It’s nearing the end of June, which means we’re seeing an influx of minor leaguers get their crack at the majors a little more frequently. The latest arm to get his shot is Luis Castillo who was called up from Double-A to pitch for the Reds as they faced the fearsome Nationals. Obviously this wasn’t a start you should have signed up for and the end result isn’t too pretty – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – but there is a lot more to talk about here than that line. I often talk about the repertoire of these pitchers and of the guys we’re seen this year, Castillo’s is as good as we’ve seen. His Fastball touched 100mph yesterday – with life! – while he mixes in Changeups with confidence and has a Slider that will miss bats as players gear up for his blistering Fastball. This is what his first four pitches looked like yesterday and you’ll understand what I mean. But he walked five batters! Yes he did, but I wouldn’t classify him as wild. A lot of those balls were near misses and it’s clear jitters got in his way as he’s had a 1.46 BB/9 in 14 minor league starts this year. His mechanics are smooth and repeatable, he’s pitching downhill as opposed to across his body and has a great approach. This guy is for real. Now, there are some problems here: 1) Castillo gets a tough schedule as after the Brewers next – which I’m slightly leaning towards start him for – he would theoretically head to Coors then Coors Lite. Not good. 2) With Brandon Finnegan returning next week, Castillo could be ushered out in favor of, say Amir Garrett or later on Anthony DeSclafani and I’m not sure the Reds would let him fly if he doesn’t have some trouble…which could easily be the case against the Rockies and Diamondbacks. However, if Castillo is in the Reds rotation in the second half GET HIM. Seriously, this kid is legit.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This was one fun game to watch with both Japanese pitchers matching each other’s sterling performances. Now I feel bad for talking about my concerns for Darvish in the podcast. Wellll, he did leave after seven because of a precautionary “tricep tightness” so there is something there. Because 2017 is stupid.

Masahiro Tanaka – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Is he back? That’s two straight starts with a boatload of strikeouts from Tanaka…but it’s also been against two poor offenses. Good news here is that you don’t need to decide now as he gets the ChiSox next. Let’s see if he can keep this up against them and go from there.

Michael Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. I think I speak for Fulmer owners everywhere when I say YES YES YES. We needed a great start like this to feel confident in our man after his day-to-day injury entering the last one. Sure, four walks are not fun but I’m willing to overlook that when he allows just two hits and fans eight. I think everyone is. Well, yeah. Oh, and this was the Padres as well, so we can’t get too pumped over this.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Wood, keep doing this and you know what will happen. Is this a really bad innuendo? What? No, I’m saying Aces gonna ace could be in his future. Okay, good.

Adam Wainwright – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Nope, sorry Waino. Not falling for this again.

Mark Leiter Jr. – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Just a Cup of Schmo here. Move along.

Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. I’ve been calling Perdomo a floor guy that will hint at strikeout upside here and there, but this start is a bit odd as it came with 5 BBs but zero ERs. Go figure. Seeing Fulmer and Perdomo accrue 11 walks between them made me think it was raining, but nah, just a weird day in San Diego.

J.A. Happ – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. And the trees are still killing us all. Atta boy Happ. Why would you bring up that terrible movie. Because I want to make The Happening not mean horrible for once in it’s life. IT DESERVES THAT. Does it though?

Jharel Cotton – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This looks super promising! Oh right, he left the game with a blister after the fifth. Because the moment he starts picking things up, he needs a setback. Duh.

Adalberto Mejia – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m upset I wasted my Shiva blast last time for Mejia, because this totally more deserving. Wait, you started him? Ha, no. Definitely not.

John Lackey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’ll take this Lackey, just do this a few more times and we’re totally cool.

Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. If you trust Jose, Urena a boatload of trouble.

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Hey! The K upside is back! This start had more strikeouts than his previous three combined. It’s also just the second time in his last ten starts he’s had more than five Ks, and third time over 4 Ks. All in favor of not buying into this say Aye. EYE! Oppose? Neigh. I did that right, right? No, definitely not. 

Jameson Taillon – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Look at Taillon being all studly n stuff. I’m so proud of you. The Power Quads are looking good these days.

Patrick Corbin – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, I’m not buying this one bit, but hey, I’m glad you let your big brother Godley take on the Rockies for you so you could have an easier time against the Phillies.

Jake Junis – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I just sat here for two minutes debating if I should keep calling him Harvey Dent or not. I’m going to say…yes? Today the coin flip was slashed heads or whatever you want to call it. You win this time, owners.

Rick Porcello – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Porcello, Porcello, Porcello. These are the starts that make me believe there’s a great second half coming. But is it really? IS IT?! *Suit man whispers in my ear.* …wait, 38.9% Hard Contact?! NOPE.

Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Felix gave us a VPQS for those who disobeyed the DLH Gods as he faced the Astros. Does this mean that you should roll him out there moving forward? Ummm have you seen his schedule? Angels, Royals, A’s. Holy Wade Boggs’ Mustache!

Jimmy Nelson – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Bleggggh. At least Nelson is being good to his word and giving you something to salvage. You’re allowed to have bad starts every so often, and as long as I get those eight Ks with them, we’re cool.

Trevor Bauer – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. BUT SOME PEOPLE DON’T GIVE US 8 Ks WHEN THEY DO TERRIBLY.

Mike Pelfrey – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Fine. Whatever Pelfrey. The second I start to suggest that maybe you’re not so bad, you turn your back on your new friend. THANKS FOR NOTHING. Streamer Record 40-26-11.

Seth Lugo – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Wasn’t a Lugo fan, still not a Lugo fan. And this was against the Giants.

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ummm, can we talk about how this is the third of five starts where Archer has allowed 4+ ER? In his last eight starts, Archer is holding a 4.94 ERA…but a 2.84 FIP and 3.02 xFIP while averaging over 8 Ks per start and an IPS over six. Still,  it’s just 15.3% soft contact and a whopping 45.0% hard contact in that time as well…Something is up here. I’m dropping him a bit on Monday, probably to the mid teens or so.

Stephen Strasburg – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  Like Archer, Strasburg had another disappointing start, and has 13 ER in his last three outings. It’s also the first time he’s gone two starts in a row without 8+ Ks all year. Weird. I don’t think the end is nigh and I’m more confident in Stras than I am Archer, so don’t do anything rash here.

Kyle Freeland – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Congrats on removing the TEEs label from your name. Now everyone knows you’re not good.

Alex Meyer – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. But Meyer, aren’t you supposed to give us more strikeouts? He’s decent strikeout upside play, but see this floor and nod in understanding.

Ty Blach – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Blach.

Joe Musgrove – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I really saw bigger things for Musgrove, but man is this looking bad. With a healthy Astros crew, you have to think he gets the boot with Morton, Keuchel, McCullers, Fiers, and Peacock/McHugh all getting their share first. No reason to hold Musgrove.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 2.1 IP, 9 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Ha, Ubaldo. Never change.

Today’s Streamer

Daniel Gossett vs. Chicago White Sox – This is crazy but there’s no one else. No, I’m not starting Anibal against the Padres. 12-Teamers, don’t do this.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jordan Zimmermann vs. San Diego Padres – It has come to this. If you need a Win on Sunday, also consider the following: Hector Velazquez vs. LAA, Francisco Liriano vs. KCR and Josh Tomlin vs. MIN

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. San Francisco Giants – Not a big fan, but there’s nothing else. Marquez is out of Coors and the Giants aren’t good, so if he’s going to do well, this is how he can do it.

Game of the Day

Homer Bailey vs. Joe Ross – Homer Bale is back and I’m curious what we’ll see. Jacob deGrom vs Johnny Cueto is also super appealing.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

One response to “Not Just A Pop Up”

  1. Alex says:

    It should be noted that it was raining pretty hard during Nelson’s start with horrible field and mound conditions. Honestly the game should have went into a rain delay. He was having difficulty getting a good grip due to that.

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